Monday, September 18, 2006


Advanced Age Ezra says something which isn't said enough:

Somehow, the case against protectionism in those sectors tends to be less persuasive to an intellectual class convinced of their own unique abilities and irreplaceable contributions. But little would be better for the developing world than to train more of their best and brightest in the lucrative, elite professions that drive global commerce and command global respect. And whatever inefficiencies and inflated costs that currently exist in the manufacturing sectors are miniscule compared to those in the protected, professional sectors. Plus: Deep down, don't we all really want to see Tom Friedman's column reach its logical extension and get outsourced to a bright recruit from elsewhere in this flat world of ours?

Aside from the class bias in policies, the class bias in attitude is really appalling. The degree to which those of a certain professional class imagine their contributions to society to be special and unique really fascinates me.

I'm not against all forms of elitism or for an absurd kind of egalitarianism - there's nothing wrong with having a great respect for the truly skilled - but plenty of highly skilled individuals exist outside the narrow world of the chattering classes. And Jeebus knows most of the country operates on higher intellectual level than billionaire Tom Friedman, unless for some reason the ability to manufacture and abuse an endless supply of truly awful mixed metaphors is a demonstration of genius.